After obtaining her MBA and BS from Florida A&M University, Lydia began her career in Information Technology. In 2005 she was selected to be part of a prestigious, fast-track leadership program at General Electric where she held multiple leadership roles in quality, project management, and marketing. Lydia gained more exposure to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) work as she served as a leader of GE’s African American Forum Employee Resource Group & lead Diversity Recruitment for the IT Leadership development program.
Her passion for diversity grew, so in 2016 she moved into Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) full time. She accepted a consulting role with Northwestern Mutual and was soon promoted to Assistant Director of Diversity & Inclusion while becoming a certified personal and executive coach. In parallel, she became co-owner of Social X, a professional organization focused on connecting, developing, and retaining minority talent in the city of Milwaukee. She also launched A New Thing Coaching & Consulting LLC., a business where she helps clients address personal and professional challenges by offering custom career navigation strategies amongst other services.
In 2019, she accepted the role of Director, Diversity & Inclusion at Kohl’s Corporation where she led the design and execution of DEI initiatives across the company. Lydia is currently the Chief Diversity Officer for Victoria’s Secret, leading DEI strategies to strengthen inclusive culture, enhance talent pipelines, increase supplier diversity, and drive business initiatives that involve product and marketing.
Today Lydia is regarded as a DEI subject-matter expert. She speaks nationally on DEI topics and teaches Business Administration part-time. Residing in Columbus Ohio, she is a published author, a proud mother of three very active daughters, and a change agent who has a passion to champion for underserved populations.
LYDIA N. SMITH
Chief Diversity Officer